Winning debuts for duo as Lézignan go clear at top

New signings, former Catalan Dragons loose-forward Jason Baitieri and ex-Salford back Krisnan Inu, helped Lézignan to a 30-16 win over neighbours Carcassonne in a reprise of last season’s championship final.

But it was local boy Thomas Lacans who was voted man of the match after another eye-catching display which featured two tries.

Another one-time Dragon, winger Jordan Flovie, also touched down twice, both from Theo Bonneriez assists, while not to be outdone, Carcassonne’s new recruit, Aussie Dane Francis, went over twice from fullback.

Lézignan dominated the first half, Flovie running in both his tries, his second finishing off a fine move which also involved Lacans in an exchange of passes. Maxime Benausse contributed four goals for a 16-6 lead.

But it was the visitors who started the second period the stronger as Alexis Alberola put winger Georgy Gambaro in before Francis scored his second from a chip kick by Clément Herrero to help bring the sides level.

Lacans, with a dummy near the line, then by touching down a grubber, put the result beyond doubt after Inu landed a conversion and a penalty goal.

With this third win from three games, Lézignan are the only unbeaten team apart from Limoux, who had a bye in this round.

Villeneuve pulled off a surprise win at Albi, storming to an 18-0 lead and emerging as 28-20 victors despite twice having a player yellow carded.

After their home defeat by Avignon in their first match last weekend, the Leopards showed a marked improvement.

Loose-forward Dimitri Biscarro crossed first, followed by centres James Tuitahi and Gavin Marguerite, Thomas Lasvenes goaling all three.

Albi came back through winger Nittim Pedrero and halfback Brad Wall, but Villeneuve added further tries from Damel Diakhate and Hamza Bachoukh for a 28-10 half-time advantage.

In a second period full of errors from both sides, Albi increased their score but only in the last eight minutes, when forwards Tristan Dupuy and Axel Rodrigues touched down to earn the bonus point.

St Gaudens have still to get off the mark after they were well beaten by Toulouse, who triumphed 36-8.

Winger Etienne Depeyre, centre Gaetan Vick and their new signing from Sheffield Eagles, centre Max Clarke, all touched down twice for Toulouse.

St Esteve-XIII Catalan’s young side also remain without a point from their two matches so far after losing heavily at Avignon, where the home team rattled up a 42-6 win.

Renaud Guigue’s men led 24-0 at the interval, after which winger Vincent Salphati crossed twice to confirm the victory.

Albi 20 Villeneuve 28
Avignon 42 St Esteve-XIII Catalan 6
Lézignan 30 Carcassonne 16
Toulouse 36 St Gaudens 8
Bye: Limoux

There are no Elite 1 fixtures scheduled for the weekend of November 14/15.

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